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St Mary, Hawkedon, Suffolk

(52°8′45″N, 0°37′29″E)
TL 797 530
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Suffolk
now Suffolk
  • Ron Baxter

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Feature Sets

St Mary’s has an aisleless nave, chancel and W tower. The nave has a S doorway under an attractive flint and brick porch, and a blocked N doorway. Nave and chancel are 14thc., and the nave has a wooden organ gallery at the W end by Detmar Blow (1912). The tower is 14thc. too, with diagonal buttresses at the W. Construction is of flint, once rendered but much of the rendering has gone now. The font is the only Romanesque feature.


The Domesday Survey records that the tenant-in-chief was Richard, son of Earl Gilbert, and that his holding was divided between two sokemen, Fulcred and Gilbert, with a carucate each, and 8 free men holding 30 acres. Part of this holding was given by a son of Richard to the abbot and monks of Bury St Edmund’s in 1154. The manor of Thurston End, also in Hawkedon, was held by Eadmaer, a thegn of Earl Aelfgar, as a manor before the Conquest. In 1086 this manor was held by Roger de Poitou. A third manor, not specifically noted in the Domesday Survey, was Cresseners. This was held in the early 15thc. by William Cressener, who commanded a troop at Agincourt. His predecessor, Robert, left bequests to the High Altar and to the rector in 1410, and William’s wife, Margaret Lady Scrope, gave glass now in the E window.

Benefice of Chevington with Hargrave, Chedburgh with Depden, Rede and Hawkedon.





The font is by the carvers of the Little Thurlow font. The original decoration of the font remains unfinished; only the carving of the W face is complete, that on the E and S faces is roughed out by inscribed lines, and the decoration of the N face is somewhere in between these two states. In its original state the bowl was square, but at some later time the lower rim was chamfered on all faces except the E, and the NW and SW angles were chamfered off. These operations left the E face as the only one to retain its original design. It is also the most visible of the faces from the body of the church, but one of the least finished in terms of its decoration. The position of the step, to the W of the font, fixes the position of the priest at baptisms, so from the viewpoint of the congregation the untouched E face would be the most visible, at least in its present installation. The reason for the mutilation of the font is unknown to the present author, who regrets that it was mainly directed against the most finished of the 12thc. carved faces, if it was necessary at all.

H. M. Cautley, Suffolk Churches and their Treasures. London 1937, 267.
D. P. Mortlock, The Popular Guide to Suffolk Churches: 1 W Suffolk. Cambridge 1988, 94-96.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Suffolk. Harmondsworth 1961, rev. E. Radcliffe 1975, 254.
D. Pleydell-Bouverie, The Church of St Mary, Hawkedon. Hawkedon PCC 1980.